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How Acidic is Your Child’s Diet?

Why is an Acidic Diet Harmful?

Every time your child consumes acidic foods or drinks, his or her tooth enamel is temporarily weakened. Over period of time, the weakened tooth structures wears down and become susceptible to cavities. Studies show that exposure to acidic foods and drinks as few as four times a day can result in acid erosion. Once teeth wear down due to acid erosion, they will be more sensitive to hot, cold or sweet food. The weak and thin enamel can chip and crack over time.

How Acidic is Your Child’s Diet?

Studies show that enamel starts to dissolve at a pH below 5.5. You can find a more comprehensive list from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website.

Lemon: 2.2

Oranges: 2.8-3.5

Salad Dressing: 3.6

Honey: 3.9

Tomato Ketchup: 3.9

Green Olives: 3.7

Raisins: 4.0

Natural Yogurt: 4.2

Bananas: 4.5-5.2

Cheese: 5.5-7.5

Milk: 6.3-8.5

Water: 7.3

Egg White: 7.0-9.0

How to Prevent Your Teeth from Acid

Avoid food and drinks high in acidity.

After eating and drinking acidic foods, rinse with water.

Try using a straw to limit the contact with teeth

Do not brush teeth right after eating. Teeth are weakened and brushing can wear down the enamel. For more information, check this blog post about the ideal time to brush teeth after eating.

Consider using a fluoride mouth rinse for extra protection against acid attacks and cavities.

Chew xylitol gum to neutralize your mouth and to stimulate saliva flow to rinse off acid.

Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.